Life, love, work, guilty pleasures and keeping it real.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In Loving Memory . . .

Nearly each year {and certainly each year from here on out} we take about a 2.5 hour drive to Loa, Utah to visit the grave of our beloved Brother and Son, Clinton Ray Whetman.
Before my Dad married my Mom, he was married to Christine (Chris) and they had a son on May 26, 1979. Whether it was weekends or holidays with my Mom, Dad Clint and then Whitney, or later on in life- weekends with us three kids and Dad- I have fond memories of Clint. He was such a proud big brother and so much fun too!
Four days before his 14th birthday, Clint was in a fatal motorcycle accident at the sand dunes. He was buried on his 14th birthday, May 26, 1993.
We always cherish the times and memories that we all shared together. He is forever missed and loved. His smile and voice are unforgettable.

This year, my Dad, Whitney and I took the day to drive down there. We spent some time at the grave and enjoyed being there. We after met up with Chris as she lives in Loa. Whitney and I were more than thrilled when we went back to her house where she shared with us and my Dad some things of Clint's: baby blankets, the little outfit they brought him home from the hospital in, 'bear', his baseball mits and a few other keepsakes. Whitney and I each were given two of his baby blankets. Beautiful blankets and priceless treasures.
This year we truly enjoyed our visit down, our time at the grave and our time with Chris. We cannot thank her enough for being so generous as to share these special items with us.

Ah... so, now that you want to cry and after we all did... we did enjoy a delicious greasy meal from Mom's Cafe and lots of junk food on the drive!

We love and miss you Clinton!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hair & Makeup for the Bride... Jamba!

Having been besties for years and years, I know how extremely picky and stuck in her ways Jaima is. This can be both a good and a bad thing. Knowing herself that she can be a bit neurotic when it comes to hair and makeup, and especially new ideas, Jaima asked muuuah to do her hair and makeup for her and Chris' engagement pictures. I lalalalove doing things of this nature, even if I have to tell my client to "shut the hell up" and "just let me do my thang."
So- as I told the beautiful Bride to shut it and deal with what I was about to do... she cooperated and ended up looking so gorgeous. Jaima looks great everyday, but we added some drama (and more makeup than usual) to her everyday self and she looked stunning, and totally picture ready!

I went through ALL of my makeup and pulled the colors and tools I wanted to try, packed up my 'caboodle' and some hair tools and went on my merry way to meet my client.

Jaima has really thick hair... I wanted it more curled than her normal curled days and full of bounce and body. Will she hate me for posting this pic? Possibly... but she looks great so I don't even give a care. I took fairly small sections and spritzed the strands with Redken's Hot Sets 22 (one of my favorite thermal setting sprays), wrapped it around my 1" iron and then pinned each curl. After setting for about 30-40 minutes, I took out each curl and sprayed her whole head with Bed Head's shine spray- amazing for separating curls. At this point Jaima is freaking out like expected, not wanting her to curls to resemble those of when she was about 7; "OMG, (nervously laughing) this is really curly Machel, like too curly." Yeah, it was curly but... her hair is so thick and heavy I knew the would relax and fall.

Because Jaima literally has flawless skin (no blemishes- ever, no blotchiness, no pores and beautiful olive coloring) she opts to not wear face makeup: concealer, foundation and powder. The items I cannot live without. As a huge believe of the light-coverage MAC Mineralize products that I use, I persuaded her to purchase these items as they are critical for these pictures, bridals and the wedding day. Yes, I am the artist for all of these events.

Due to her great complexion, eye color, hair color and outfit selection (which I will not spoil here) we went for some great neutral colors and just amped it up with a more heavier-than-normal application.
We used some of my most fave colors....

(All MAC colors)
Painterly base: patted on from lash line to just above crease
Patina: lash line to just above crease, and a thin line on the lower lash line
Twinks: Blended from outer corner to mid-crease with a thin line on lower lash line
Orb: Brow bone to just above crease... blending the Twinks in beautifully
Blitz and Glitz fluidline: Heavier line on upper lid
Typographic: Bottom lash line
Engraved waterproof liner: on the inner rims
All of this topped off with curled lashes and a few coats of black mascara...

Nars' (I hate to say this, I really do) blush in Deep Throat

MAC's whirl liner, Viva MAC VI lipstick, Nars' Rage gloss

We used some MAC pigment in an opalescent shade to highlight around her eyes and cheekbones.

We are going to have a practice wedding day round and bridals, I will be sure to take more "in the midst of the action" shots to show more on application techniques, etc. I will be posting a few of Chris and Jaima's engagement pics on here once they get them to show their hot'ness and my great work in action!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Setting the Tone For The {BIG} Day & Coordination The Day Of

The costs of varying weights and textures of paper, different printing techniques, additional colors, envelopes and stamps are all elements to consider when choosing a design. Until I got into this, I was not aware of the extreme expense of thee Wedding Invitation.

I am lucky enough to work where I do, with whom I do... I worked with Kenji Bankhead, one of our fab designers and my friend, to create a custom design and layout that spoke perfectly to the tone of our BIG day.

I had a general idea of what I wanted before the process began. I knew I wanted classic black and white/ivory paper and printing, some sort of design either along the top or side and for an ivory paper to be mounted on black paper. We browsed through a million websites, visited a number of invitation boutiques and flipped through numerous design books to find a "pattern" that I wanted to include on the invitation. After tweaking the main layout a couple of times, our invitation had been created... a gorgeous damask-like pattern across the top and bottom, elegant type mixed with clean bold lettering and a spacious well-executed layout... ah! Now for paper and printing... I chose a light ivory medium-heavy weight Crane paper and envelopes to have the invitations printed on in letterpress. I was referred to Riley Florence, a cousin to another person I work with. He did an amazing job printing the invitations and envelopes.

They turned out beautiful and were just what I wanted (Mikey happened to like them as well, which was a total bonus)! Mikey and I both worked to mount the ivory paper onto a heavier-textured black piece... that was quite a task, but well worth it. We included a RSVP and reception card with the main invite... all together it looked gorgeous!

Now that I had given our guests a glimpse of our wedding day style, I extended the invite style to the Wedding Day accessories. For our Mass ceremony, we had a 4-page program, which Kenji also designed to match our invitations. In addition to readings and songs during the mass, we recongnized our Wedding Party and included a small note to our family and friends on the back. The piece turned out beautifully. You can also see here that our thank you cards matched the style too!

We not only got to drive away from St. Thomas More in this luxurious car, our Just Married sign matched! AH... the pleasure I get from things of this nature is simply intoxicating!!!

Last but not least. Feeling accomplished about tying this all together, I had one last thing... the entrance sign! Small touch, but highly recognizable by me. At the entrance of Willow Creek, a SMALL sign announced the event. Why have it on a plain piece of paper when it could match my invitations? Seems totally obvious, right? LOL.
I absolutely live for these kinds of small details. Having friends in the "business" totally helps too. Kenji is an amazing designer and we are currently working on a freelance project together. If you are ever in need of a designer, I highly reccommend him. Also- if you are looking to get anything letterpressed, Riley did a fantastic job.

Let the joys of Wedding planning begin!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Instant Glamour... Pull It All Back

Whether you are having a bad hair day, a bad bang day, a fabulous hair day or want to mix things up a bit from what you normally do- pulling all of your hair back is thee best solution (in my opinion).
Reasons I pull all of my hair back vary... I sometimes go every-other-day between washing my hair, for me second day hair requires the full pull back. My bangs that I am currently growing out may be clean but going totally crazy and they would just serve me better pinned back. I may have totally clean and blown out hair, but I did not take the time to smooth it, so lets pull 'er back. Or... an all-back style may match perfectly with my outfit. Whatever the reason, like my love for ponytails, all pulled back pair just does me so right. It can change an on-the-verge-of-being-slutty-outfit into a totally sleek and sexy look. It can transform jeans, a t-shirt and some cute accessories from so-so to so-fab. It accompanies super-dramatic eyes and cheeks perfectly.
With my current bang growing situation, I find these styles to be rather inspiring. Pair these fancy styles with your everyday looks and you have a killer combination!

The curls, the side bun and the "pulled out" curls make this more of a fancy 'do. This would be ideal for date night or a summer wedding.

I love Nikki's spin on a childhood favorite... two french braids all grown up. I assume they are connected in the back and maybe tucked under bun'ish style.

Um- I want to look like Kate. Period. She is amazing and a big fan of all-back hair. I love the body in this one and the loose, more casual curls of the one above.

I think Hillary always look great. I love this messy bun with tons of volume on top.

Always perfectly put-together... I love the volume of both styles and how curls are worked in as well.

The last month or so I have tried a number of these looks. They turn our best when I have curled my hair and my curls are still smooth and bouncy.
(For more pull-backed style pics and more, check out People magazine's website where I pulled these ones from).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hi, my name is Machel and I am a WINO

Once upon a time, I was an amateur wine drinker. Hell, I would enjoy whatever you gave me, including boxed wine. Today, I most likely would not turn down a glass of boxed wine, I would just pound it in slight disgust until about glass 3.5- then I would probably love it.
I have evolved from a strictly sweet, white wine drinker to a lover of medium-bodied red wines, and the boldness of a Cabernet is also growing on me.
It's not about pounding bottle after bottle of wine, lets not lie- sometimes it is, but it's also about enjoying a glass of wine that pairs perfectly with your meal, it's about sipping a glass of Merlot with rich chocolate cake, it's about soaking in a bubble bath with a glass of Chardonnay and of course it's about getting together with friends and family and having great conversation and good times over endless bottles of every kind!
Like books, hair products and beauty supplies, I am often mezmorized by a good "cover"/wine label. The art, the colors, the style or even the name can force me to make a purchase that I may regret after one sip... I have learned to buy the cute ones and store them in my wine rack... this way they are there for emergencies. (Emergency: girl's night when everyone brings a bottle to share, you run out and resort to your decoration or super-expensive surplus).

To kick off the first-part of my WINO series, I present to you
. . . Cartlidge and Browne's North Coast 2006 Merlot. . .
In a quest to find the perfect wedding day wines, we tested about six red and six white wines. It was a blind taste test. My Dad rounded up 12 bottles and poured glass after glass... then we made our top three choices and went with those. This was one of our choices.
The Cartlidge & Browne winery is located in Napa Valley, with fruit sourced from acres and acres of vineyards throughout California. This Merlot embodies a CA fruitiness with a French styling. I loved this red because it not too heavy - a perfect blend of sweetness and richness, and I thought people would appreciate the versatility of the taste.

Merlot 2006 North Coast:
Sources: Lake County, Sonoma, Mendocino
Tasting Notes: There is roundness and depth, and the top notes of cranberry and juicy bing cherry are accompanied by plenty of ripe black fruit. Mocha hints, along with a cedary character on the finish.
Cartlidge & Browne Winery, Napa Valley California

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My investment in make-up brushes

Part of being the (wanna be) make-up "guru" that I am requires all of the tools, right? That's what I think too. Brushes make a huge difference in the application of your make-up. I have seriously invested in some fabulous brushes... almost all MAC brushes. Unless you're a baller, it takes time to accumulate a brush collection. I realize that there are more luxurious (meaning expensive) brushes than the ones I use, mine are my high-end choice . . .
Some invest in stocks & real estate, I invest in make-up & beauty tools.
I have had my fair share of inexpensive brushes... and they do not last long, nor do they make applying your make-up easy. The more you DO with your make-up, the more important quality brushes become. A dramatic look requires more make-up, thus requiring more tools.

Being the product junkie that I am, there is something that makes me feel prettier when I have the time to utilize each brush for its own detailed purpose. Extra processes, and taking over an hour to get ready automatically makes me feel more glam.

Check out MAC's Brush Finder. Lancome Foundation Brush. Bobbi Brown Eyeliner Brush.

I am doing Jaima's hair and make-up in a couple of weeks for her and Chris' engagement pictures... check back to see these tools in action and how they impact the result of a super-foxy bride!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo... the celebration Mexico's heritage and pride {and my own}. In honor of this glorious day, I thought I would post pics of Machel's Mexican Casserole that I posted about a while ago. I had a special request from Kelly Judd asking for photographs! I made this on Monday, and Mikey and I both had leftovers for our lunches on Tuesday.
Always a favorite and always super delish!

Introducing... the ingredients. (This time I added some "fake" Spanish rice because I felt like; makes it a bit more heavy but that much more delicious).

We have tortillas (the kind you bake yourself from Costco), a mix of corn, black beans and peppers, re-fried beans, chicken and rice.

Cilantro and avocado... two powerful ingredients that totally make this dish! I change up what I do pretty much every time, but I always use these two key ingredients!
Now that everything is prepared, let the layering begin... I always start with #1: the beans, #2: the cheese and then layer on from there as you wish!

Last but not least, the rice!
I make a second layer and top that one off with one last tortilla, three tortillas total.
I let it all melt together for 5 minutes or so...
Voila! Sometimes it turns out prettier than others. Despite the looks, this simple and quick delight is sure to satisfy.

Margarita por favor?

Monday, May 3, 2010

#5: Shu Uemura UV Underbase & Eye Lash Curler

Last year at about this time, I was a mall-maniac, more than usual. Constantly shopping for engagement outfits, wedding day accessories, honeymoon clothes, gifts and of course make-up. Being a maniac I made a number of discoveries, Shu Uemura's underbase and their eye lash curler being two of them. I have been a faithful fan ever since!

As anyone who I work with can attest to, I look pretty shitty during the week. Almost always rocking a ponytail (clean ones too) and much less make-up than I sport on the weekends. The lack of looking decent is due to my A.M. time constraint; I would much rather sleep an extra 30- 40 minutes than look glammed out each day!

Every day,whether the workweek rush, the weekend glamour girl or the pool side babe, I always use my eyelash curler. I know there are some ladies who travel with this tool in their purses, re-curling throughout the day. I do not take my passion for this tool that far, but I do use it daily. Why I love it: I have yet to hurt myself with it; some curlers are flimsy, open too wide and just suck. This one has a wonderful pad, opens so perfectly and somehow curls with such precision. It is not as fancy as some of those out there, with bouncy springs or extra gadgets attached, but I am telling you- this one is a keeper! I had not read the product description until now... hello, totally sums up why I love it. the emblematic shu uemura eyelash curler featuring enhanced design and upgraded features... provides a protective, stay-put edge for improved safety and optimum curl... precise engineering applies perfect amount of pressure on eyelashes... calculated shape and size of frame length and ergonomic handles ensure stability and control.

When I do allow myself the time to get adequately ready, I follow some extra make-up steps. Some have been mentioned before (eyeliner, more eye shadow, etc.), and using this underbase is one of those do it when I have time kinds of things.

I apply just a small amount of this slightly-tinted, mouse-textured underbase/primer all over my face with my Lancome foundation brush. Using this product, my make-up (foundation and powder) last longer and go on much smoother, like flawlessly. What I love is that within about one minute of application, my skin has a natural glow and appears less red. One of this product's features is to reduce redness, and it for sure does.
Love both of these products and highly recommend them to you! Shu Uemura can be purchased in the Nordstrom's costmetics department.